(By Balaseshan) The number of Americans who continued to receive jobless benefits dropped last week, but came in higher than forecast, a government data showed, the latest indication that the labor market is slightly improving.
Jobless claims fell 6,000 to 386,000 last week from the previous week's revised figure of 392,000, while economists projected a decline to 385,000 applications.
The four-week moving average for claims - a less volatile measure than the weekly figures - declined 750 to 386,750 last week, a data from the Labor Department showed.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending June 16 fell 15,000 to 3.296 million, while economists projected an advance to 3.280 million. The 4-week moving average was about 3.306 million, up 9,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 3.297 million.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6% for the week ending June 16, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate.
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 368,418 in the week ending June 23, an increase of 3,870 from the previous week.
The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4% during the week ending June 16, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs rose 5,712 to 3.108 million from the preceding week.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending June 16 were in Pennsylvania (up 4,656), New Jersey (up 3,907), Maryland (up 2,624), Florida (up 2,528), and Puerto Rico (up 1,533), while the largest decreases were in California (down 8,016), New York (down 3,018), Georgia (down 2,160), Illinois (down 1,996), and Missouri (down 1,339).